DERWENT BRIDGE is the gateway to the beautiful Lake St Clair. It is a small settlement in the Central Highlands of Tasmania near the southern edge of Lake St Clair. Derwent Bridge marks the southern boundary of the famous Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair World Heritage National Park. There are facilities and accommodation at Derwent Bridge and some facilities at the Lake St Clair visitor centre.
LAKE St CLAIR is a very deep glacier lake, which legends say is a portal to other dimensions. What is not in dispute is that it is an awesome place. There are easy walks near the visitor centre at Cynthia Bay and much longer walks around Lake St Clair and to other places of interest. There is even a boat cruise of Lake St Clair as well as bicycle, canoe and motor boat hiring. Intrepid trekkers use this ferry to access the great attractions north of Lake St Clair, such as the LABYRINTH and the ACROPOLIS.
The Lake St Clair Visitor Centre near DERWENT BRIDGE is the terminus for the famous OVERLAND Track, which starts at CRADLE MOUNTAIN. It is in a very isolated area with no large towns nearby.
At Derwent Bridge is the famous WALL in the WILDERNESS. This is a huge wooden sculpture of the history of the Central Highlands of Tasmania. It is a must see!
Derwent Bridge is in a very isolated area with no large towns nearby. You are 50 minutes from MIENA and HAMILTON. You are one hour from WADDAMANA and POATINA. Nearby places are described in the CENTRAL MOUNTAINS REGION page.
View Region Central Mountains of Tasmania in a larger map
FACILITIES at Derwent Bridge include a cafe, petrol station and a hotel. At the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre are toilets, showers, tourist information and a cafe. There is accommodation at and near DERWENT BRIDGE.
TOURIST information is at the entrance to the LAKE St CLAIR VISITOR CENTRE. The telephone number is (03) 6289 1172 or the Internet contact is www.parks.tas.gov.au/natparks/stclair
For the LAKE St CLAIR FERRY telephone (03) 6289 1137
For the WALL in the WILDERNESS telephone (03) 6289 1134 or contact www.thewalltasmania.com
For local conditions at BRONTE LAGOON, DEE LAGOON, BRADY'S LAKE and LAKE ECHO telephone (03) 6259 8148
SIGHTS: Derwent Bridge is in a very beautiful location with forests, lakes and mountains in abundance. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauties of Lake St Clair. Derwent Bridge is especially noted for the;
WALL in the WILDERNESS is a 100 metre wooden mural about the pioneers of the Central Highlands. It is now half finished and destined to be a world famous art piece. The telephone number is (03) 6289 1134 or the Internet contact is www.thewalltasmania.com
FERRY on LAKE St CLAIR picks up walkers finishing the Overland Track from CRADLE MOUNTAIN. You can use the ferry to take you to the start of the Lake St Clair trail and do an easy lake tour. The telephone number is (03) 6289 1137
LAKE St CLAIR trail is a brilliant 17 kilometre walk along the edge of Lake St Clair. It passes under the shadow of Mt Olympus, which is 1450 metres high. Across the Lake St Clair you can see the cone of Mt Ida, which is 1240 metres high.
LAKE FISHING is excellent at the nearby hydro lakes of LAKE ECHO, DEE LAGOON, BRONTE LAGOON and BRADY'S LAKES. For local conditions telephone (03) 6259 8148
Mt RUFUS Trail is a tough 20 kilometre walk to Mt Rufus and back. It is a walk through a pristine wilderness, but it is only for experienced walkers.
Mt LITTLE MT HUGEL Trail diverges from the Mt Rufus Trail at SHADOW LAKE. You can also follow this trail to FORGOTTEN LAKE.
LABYRINTH, LAKE MARION, Mt BYRON, the GUARDIANS, WALLED MOUNTAIN and the ACROPOLIS can be accessed on multi day walks from the northern end of Lake St Clair.
FRENCHMANS CAP is only 30 minutes from Derwent Bridge,
TARRALEAH with its power station is only 30 minutes away,
WADDAMANA with is power station museum is only 50 minutes away.
WARNING: The Lake St Clair area is a very mountainous area and it can be very cold and very wet in any season, so check the weather and come prepared. Caution advises you to cancel a trip, when bad weather is predicted.
From LAUNCESTON you start by joining the B51 road at LONGFORD. You then drive south and pass east of the Great Lake, until the B51 reaches the A5 Highland Lakes Highway. You then follow the A5 West, until it reaches the B11 Marlborough Road (This is a gravel road.) just past MIENA on the south edge of the GREAT LAKE. You then drive south on the B11, until it reaches the A3 Lyell Highway, which you follow west to Derwent Bridge.
From DEVONPORT you can pick up the A5 Highland Lakes Highway at DELORAINE. You then drive south and pass the Great Lake on the western side. At the south edge of the Great Lake, you will meet the B11 Marlborough Road (This is a gravel road.), which you drive south on, until it reaches the A3 Lyell Highway, which you follow west to Derwent Bridge.
- CYNTHIA BAY
- NARCISSUS BAY
- St Clair Track
- Mt Hugel
- Shadow Lake
1/ Derwent Bridge is a settlement on the southern edge of Lake St Clair in Central Tasmania. At Derwent Bridge is the Wall in the Wilderness. This is a massive 100 metre sculpture on the hardships and achievements of the early pioneers of Tasmania. It is located just east of Derwent Bridge. The telephone number is (03) 6289 1134 and the Internet contact is www.thewalltasmania.com
2/ The modern visitor centre on the southern edge of Lake St Clair is where all the walks begin and end. This complex has a ranger office , restaurant, toilets and showers. You must clean your boots before you enter the national park to prevent the spread of harmful fungi as this is a pristine area.
3/ This sign near the Lake St Clair visitor centre directs you to some of the trails. Note carefully the times. Your return time is double this time, plus your rest time.
4/ This bridge marks the end of the Lake St Clair part of the famous Overland Track. It is also the start of the short Platypus Bay trail.
5/ This photos shows the clear waters of a creek near Lake St Clair.
6/ The waters of Lake St Clair give off a very serene ambience. This is the viewing area of Platypus Bay. If you are lucky you can see platypuses resting on the grass.
7/ This is a little beach near Platypus Bay on the beautiful Lake St Clair.
8/ This is looking south from the beach at Platypus Bay at the southern end of Lake St Clair. The two dots on the horizon are old the pump station.
9/ The pump station at Lake St Clair was a good place to see platypuses. It has now been turned into a luxury hotel.
1/ The Lake St Clair ferry boat is an easy way to reach two exotic locations; Echo Point and Narcissus Bay. The latter is the exit point from the famous Overland Trail.
2/ Mount Ida towers 1240 metres above Lake St Clair on the eastern shore. It is a major landmark.
3/ In every direction on the Lake St Clair you see towering peaks through the misty clouds.
4/ Echo Point has a hut located in a mysterious myrtle grove. It is half way up Lake St Clair on the western shore.
5/ This is the view from the Echo Point hut across the beautiful Lake St Clair.
6/ This photo shows the approach to Narcissus Bay on the northern edge of Lake St Clair. Towering over the Bay is Mount Gould, which is 1490 metres high.
7/ To the east of Narcissus Bay is Mount Manfred, which is 1382 metres high. Many mountains can be accessed from the top of Lake St Clair.
8/ Looking to the South East, you see the famous Mount Olympus, which is 1450 metres high. This is the most famous landmark of Lake St Clair.
9/ This is view you see of Mount Olympus from Narcissus Bay at the top of Lake St Clair.
10/ Mount Olympus is a massive wall that towers down on Narcissus Bay and Lake St Clair. At the top of this page is another view of Mount Olympus on a more favorable day.
11/ This is the southern end of the Overland Trail on the northern edge of Lake St Clair. The Narcissus Bay hut is beyond these trees.
1/ The last leg of the famous Overland Trail is the Lake St Clair Trail. You can access it by catching the ferry either to Narcissus Bay at the top of Lake St Clair or to Echo Point half way down Lake St Clair. You then walk south through a beautiful forest with great views of Lake St Clair. This photo shows the ferry passing the pinnacle of Mount Ida. A group of German climbers were climbing it the day that we visited Lake St Clair in 2015.
2/ As the ferry approached the Echo Point jetty, I was fortunate to gain this view of the Acropolis. This is a spectacular mountain north of Lake St Clair. It was covered by cloud the last time that I visited Lake St Clair. I intend to visit it again soon.
3/ This is the view from Echo Point on the eastern shore of Lake St Clair. These two trees are symbolic of the location.
4/ The Lake St Clair Track goes through a beautiful myrtle forest. The trees are so dense that they darken the trail. It is a really enchanting place.
5/ There are many giant trees around Lake St Clair. This one had to be cut through to allow access to walkers. This cutting is higher than a man.
6/ This is a view of the forest that surrounds you.
7/ The forest is punctuated by views of Lake St Clair. In this view you can see the pinnacle of Mount Ida.
8/ Huge manferns are also prolific on the Lake St Trail. These manferns were taller than a man.
9/ This photo shows you the combinations of manferns and trees that you see on the trail.
10/ Lake St Clair is blessed by having an number of beaches that can be accessed from the trail. The lake's water is pure and transparent.
11/ These saplings have been blown over by the wind to drag up their soil to make this strange shape. The Lake St Clair Trail is to the left of this photo.
12/ The Lake St Clair Trail is punctuated by places where you can walk down to experience the Lake. The white dot on the horizon is the old pump house, which is now a luxury hotel.
13/ You see a plethora of vegetation on the trail that towers around you.
14/ This is the Overland Track Monument at the visitor centre at Cynthia Bay. It describes the Track and shows where the huts are located.
1/ This gallery shows photos made on a trip to Mt Hugel in the summer of 2015. We camped over night on Mt Hugel and then continued north to Mt Little Hugel, before we journey home via Shadow Lake. This image shows Shadow Lake and it is looking north towards Mt Little Mt Hugel in the centre.
2/ We began by trekking west on the Mt Rufus Track.
3/ The first landmark we met was Shadow Lake. This image is looking west towards Mt Hugel. We would be leaving the Mt Rufus Track and ascending the slope on the left. We would then be walking north along the denuded spur line of Mt Hugel towards Mt Little Hugel.
4/ This image was made as we were ascending Mt Hugel. It is looking north east towards Mt Olympus and Lake Petrarch, which are on the left of this image.
5/ This image looks north towards Mt Hugel, which is the peak to the left. We were no longer following a track. You can see a small tarn on the right of the image. This journey was possible, because much of the spur line of Mt Hugel is only covered by sparse, alpine vegetation.
6/ This image is looking down from the spur line to the east at Forgotten Lake. In the distance is Mt Othrys.
7/ This image from Mt Hugel is looking towards the east at lakes, from right to left, Forgotten and Shadow. The third lake is a temporarily submerged swampy area. On the distant horizon is Lake St Clair.
8/ At sunset we camped at a tarn near Mt Hugel. This view looks to the north. On the right is Mt Byron and the peak to the left is Mt Cuvier. They are reflecting the last light of the sun.
8/ This is the tarn near Mt Hugel at sunrise. Note the rich colours of the morning.
9/ We then set out to cross Mt Hugel. This image looks north towards the summit of Mt Hugel. In the distance on the right is Mt Olympus.
10/ This image was taken near the summit of Mt Hugel and is looking west of Mt Hugel towards Lake Hermione. Beyond it are the peaks of the Cheyne Range.
11/ This is another view looking south west past Lake Hermione to the many peaks of the south west of Tasmania.
12/ This is the view from the summit of Mt Hugel looking to the north east. The lake is Lake Solitude and the mountain beyond it is Mt Olympus.
13/ This image looks across the denuded spur line of Mt Hugel towards the mountains of the north west. It shows what the vegetation cover looked like on most of the spur line we were following.
14/ The summit of Mt Hugel is a rocky and denuded area. This image is looking east from Mt Hugel at Forgotten Lake and Shadow Lake.
15/ There is a gap in the spur line between Mt Hugel and Mt Little Hugel, so we had to make our way through an area of thicker vegetation. This image shows pandanis, which are common in this area.
16/ This is a large unnamed tarn west of Mt Little Hugel that we passed.
17/ This image shows the rough country that we had to make our way through.
18/ This image shows a hill west of Mt Little Hugel. The image also show you the diverse terrain that we were making our path through.
19/ We were very happy to reach the track west of Mt Little Hugel. This image shows us ascending Mt Little Hugel.
20/ This image shows the view of the plateau south east of Mt Little Hugel.
21/ Finally we reached the cairn on Mt Little Hugel. We then followed a Tasmanian tradition of each of us adding a stone to the cairn.
22/ This image is looking south east from Mt Little Hugel. The lake in the distance on the left is Lake St Clair. On the left is a track marker. We would now be following the Mt Little Hugel Track back to Forgotten Lake.
22/ This image shows our route back to Forgotten Lake. It looks towards the north west at Mt Olympus.
23/ This image shows some of the well sculptured rocks that we found on the Mt Little Hugel Track.
24/ This image looks back to the area of sculptured rocks. You will notice how these rocks almost look like they are cairns. Note too the lovely wild flowers that we saw in this area. We then followed this track back to the Mt Rufus Track, which took us back to the visitor centre at Cynthia Bay on Lake St Clair.